chapter  2
22 Pages

Development of a European and UK Moral Regime

The patenting process stands at the confluence of science and technology, on the one hand, and law, on the other.1 The intertwining of two disciplines has in the past created certain tensions even at the national level, evidenced by the fact that certain sectors of industry have received less patent protection when compared to others. This was sometimes the case, for example, for foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals where patent protection was deemed inappropriate.2 These tensions became more pronounced as companies moved and sought patents outside their country of origin. While the scientific and technical side remained the same the world over, in particular in Europe and the United States, divergence in national patent laws meant an almost endless variety of rules on conditions, procedure and scope of protection. Because the point of view of the inventor is essentially technical, he reasons from the basis of the invention made, for which he claims full protection. However, the view of the national legislator is necessarily more complex and is influenced by several factors, including:

different concepts justifying patent protection;3 patent law as a matter of economic policy;4 patent law as an integral part of the general legal system of the country concerned.5